The Outbound Ghost may not be the first game most people think of when considering 2022’s most anticipated titles, however, it’s difficult not to be captivated the moment you set your eyes on its charming art design, especially if you have a fondness for the paper art style popularized by the classic Paper Mario games. It is said to be coming to all major console platforms, but will first release on PC (Steam) on September 21, 2022, as announced in the trailer below.
The Outbound Ghost is a turn-based RPG being developed by a three-person team known as Conradical Games. It’s set in the town of Outbound, which is “quite literally a ghost town.” All the inhabitants are dead, and as is the norm in the town of Outbound, they became ghosts due to grievances in life that they’ve yet to come to terms with. A central part of the story is getting to know a sizeable cast of characters, each with their own trials, and helping them settle their past regrets and move on to the “afterlife.”
You are a ghost yourself, after all, so you must have some grievance too. The thing is, you can’t even remember the cause of your own death. Your character has amnesia, so you must first piece together who you are and what happened to you, to then get over whatever’s keeping you from reaching eternal bliss.
The enemies you fight are astral entities known as apparitions, and one of the coolest aspects is that the party you use to fight them will not be friends or monsters you capture, but instead figments of the personality you had in your living existence; things like Jealousy, Spite, Regret, Comradery, and Solitude. The studio has been open in sharing a lot of footage throughout the game’s development, so if you’re interested in seeing more, like footage of the game’s opening segments, or a boss battle, you can check out its channel right here.
When it comes to the combat itself, The Outbound Ghost shares various discernible similarities with Paper Mario, like having multiple characters on each side, timing-based attacks, and SP as a resource. It also has craftable badges that give you certain buffs and allow you to customize your play style. A distinct mechanic present in the game’s combat is what’s called Aether Points or AP. These are a character’s turns, which you can stack up to perform several moves back-to-back. Conradical Games revealed optional ‘nuzlocke’ modes built into the game for replayability, such as your figments having perma-death, or appearing in random order.